Criminals can be identified by their walk, says a British expert in “gait recognition” quoted by The Times in Britain. Scientists have been working on a computer system that can analyze the movements of criminals caught on closed circuit television and compare them with those of a suspect. The system works on the premise that every individual has a signature walking style. The technique is still in its infancy but has been used in high-profile cases. Swedish police successfully used it three years ago to identify a robber involved in a bank raid in which a customer was killed.
Mark Nixon, of the Southampton University department of electronics and computing, said that studies showed everyone has a distinct walk. It is very difficult for someone to disguise the way they walk, and they can still be identified whether casually sauntering up to a bank teller or sprinting from the scene of the crime. Nixon believes that gait recognition has advantages over facial mapping. Eventually a national databank will be created to demonstrate to courts that individuals walk differently and that the evidence of identification is safe to use as evidence.